On Brazil's containment of the crisis.

We talk to members of the Unbridled Possibility Collective (Fabio Luis B. Santos | Thais Pavez | Daniel Cunha) about their intervention, trying to look beyond this week's election in Brazil.

What does establishment support for Lula this time round represent? Is Lula guilty of "unrealistic pragmatism"? How will Brazil react to a potential coup attempt by Bolsonaro? 

And we look at the deeper social and structural context: what are the features of the Brazilian "war of all against all"? How does Bolsonaro accelerate these tendencies?

We conclude by looking at the possibility of a new 'Pink Wave' in Latin America and examining the state of the Brazilian left. 

Readings:

 

On Communism's historic role.
 
We talk to renowned Serbian-American economist Branko Milanovic about growing up in Yugoslavia and how, in much of the world, History never ended. We then dedicate much of the episode to discussing Branko's claim that communism was essentially an engine of economic convergence, allowing developing countries to haul themselves into the industrial age.
 
We also talk about Branko's work on inequality and why growth still matters. 
 
Readings:
On Brazil's elections and the military.
 
A month away from the first round showdown between former president Lula and current president Jair Bolsonaro, lawyer, podcaster and communist Alcysio Canette joins us to look at the features that have shaped the past years.
 
How did Bolsonaro's response to the Covid pandemic – denialism, essentially – tarnish his image? What role is the military playing in Brazilian politics and what is its history of political interference since the 1964-85 dictatorship?
 
Part two available at: patreon.com/posts/71560313
 
Readings:

On people power on three continents.

We discuss Chile's landmark elections, the first after the uprising of 2019-20, which see a face-off between left and far-right; Modi's repeal of controversial laws that provoked a huge mobilisation of farmers in India last year; and protests and riots against new lockdowns and vaccine mandates across Europe.

Articles:

Other relevant episodes

 

On world history, 1900-2020.

For our 200th episode special, we pose the question: "If you had to study the history of only one country from 1900-2020, and thereby understand the history of the whole world, which would you pick?"

We invited 10 contributors to each pitch one country, whose particularities capture the universal sweep of world history from the start of the 20th century till now.

Vote for which you think is best, and we'll have the top 3 back on to discuss in more depth: Link to voting page

Running order:

  • (18:20) Germany - Dominik Leusder
  • (23:02) Greece - Jonas Kyratzes
  • (27:57) India - David Adler
  • (33:46) Indonesia - Vincent Bevins
  • (38:25) Iraq - Liam Meissner
  • (44:03) Italy - David Broder
  • (49:19) Mexico - Roger Lancaster
  • (54:01) Taiwan - Nic Johnson
  • (59:44) Turkey - Arash Azizi
  • (01:04:32) Yugoslavia - Lily Lynch

Buy our book! Links to retailers

Come to our London book launch! Event link

On Latin America's progressive wave and its discontents.

A new book on Latin America argues that 'pink tide' governments tried to treat the symptoms of neoliberal capitalism while allowing the underlying situation to worse. We talk to the author, Fabio Luis, about cases across the region, including the election in Ecuador and Venezuela's disaster, to Bolivia's coup and Argentina's "path of least resistance". How important is regional integration and what does an alternative socialist vision entail? And we ponder a sad question: is the dream of development and modernisation over? 

Readings:

On cash welfarism and state investment. Plus regionalism in Belgium & the UK.

Anton Jäger is back on the pod to discuss the emerging 'transfer state'. We examine Biden's massive trillion-dollar spending plans and ask if this means we're leaving neoliberalism. What are the limitations to the 'cashification of welfare'? Also comparisons with cash transfers or lack thereof in the UK, Brazil and Belgium.

Plus Anton talks us through recent Belgian history and why its immobilism and bureaucracy has actually prevented a full-on neoliberal assault. 

[Part 2 available at patreon.com/bungacast]

Readings:

CLR James’s electrifying 1938 history of the 1791-1804 Haitian Revolution, The Black Jacobins, has long been a staple of many radicals’ libraries. But we now know a lot more about the life of the Haitian revolutionary leader Toussaint L’Ouverture. How does this new knowledge impact our understanding of the Haitian Revolution, and on revolution in general? Sudhir Hazeeresingh, the author of a gripping new biography based on new archival research, ‘Black Spartacus: The Epic Life of Toussaint L’Ouverture, talks with us about about revolutionary leadership and Atlantic history.  

Reading:

On modernism and its end. 

We're joined by 2020 Pulitzer Prize winner Benjamin Moser to discuss the tensions between hating your national culture and wanting to leave it behind, and the effacement of national culture by postmodern homogenisation.

We talk about his biography of Susan Sontag, plus a range of other questions: Brazil, USA, literature, architecture, sex, imperialism, Freud, the image and representation, and contemporary wokeness.

Moser's Books:

The full episode is for patrons only. Sign up at patreon.com/bungacast

In this latest Three Articles, we discuss the durability or otherwise of right-populism in the UK, US and Brazil.

Reading:

On The Jakarta Method.

We're joined by Vincent Bevins to discuss his new book on the 1965-66 mass killings in Indonesia, Cold War anti-communism, and the destruction it wrought around the world. The mid-60s proved pivotal, with US-backed coups in Indonesia and Brazil setting the template. What was their effect on the Left worldwide? How did it alter developmental trajectories across the Third World? What lessons can we take from these historical experiences?

Running Order:

  • Indonesia - (10:43)
  • Brazil & application of Jakarta Method - (36:14)
  • Themes of anticommunism - (43:55)
  • Global consequences - (53:03)
  • Anticommunism today - (01:14:39)
  • Bonus stuff - (1:21:18)

Reading:
The Jakarta Method: Washington's Anticommunist Crusade and the Mass Murder Program that Shaped Our World

On the 30 years since 1989.

For our 100th episode, we invited our favourite guests to reflect on the question: “What one event, personal or political, most captures for you the past thirty years, since 1989?” 

Are we still living in the death throes of the 20th century, or is something new emerging?

Guests:

  • (00:07:42) - Maren Thom
  • (00:14:14) - David Broder
  • (00:21:33) - Ashley Frawley
  • (00:26:11) - Catherine Liu
  • (00:33:05) - Angela Nagle
  • (00:40:49) - Benjamin Fogel
  • (00:46:25) - Alex Gourevitch 
  • (00:51:31) - BungaCast hosts
  • (00:59:22) - David Adler
  • (01:04:05) - Amber A’Lee Frost
  • (01:08:48) - James Heartfield
  • (01:16:17) - Anton Jaeger
  • (01:23:24) - Leigh Phillips
  • (01:30:25) - Lee Jones
  • (01:36:03) - Karl Sharro

Subscribe: patreon.com/BungaCast

November 14, 2019

Excerpt: /96/ Three Articles

This is a sample. Go to Patreon for the full episode. 

On Bolivia, Macron, Randian Chile.

 
In this month's 'Three Articles' - in which we each bring to the table a key article to unpick and unpack - we discuss Bolivia's coup and a left-wing argument against Morales; Macron's big interview in the economist and his questionable 'defence of sovereignty'; and a libertarian nutjob goes berserk in Chile.
 

On Argentina's elections and Chile & Ecuador's revolts. 

Macri's election was heralded by the right across the continent as the end to a sequence of centre-left governments in South America. Now only four years later, he is likely to be thrown out of office by the return of 'Kirchnerismo'. Next door, the supposedly "stable and growing" Chile is in flames as protests and riots challenge the conservative Piñera administration and the country's deep inequality. This follows on the heels of weeks of mobilisations in Ecuador against the ending of a fuel subsidy. What's going on and what does it all signify?

[Chile & Ecuador discussion starts at 46mins]

Readings:

October 31, 2018

/51/ Oh, Brazil: What Now?

In which we update the latest from Brazil, post-election. What will Bolsonaro's government look like? We plot best & worst case scenarios and discuss how bad this really is (really, really bad). And is "fascism" the correct term to use? 

Readings:

Bolsonaro Rising (Alex) https://thebaffler.com/latest/bolsonaro-rising-hochuli 

Bolsonaro: more dangerous than Trump (Alex) https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/brazil-presidential-election-who-jair-bolsonaro-popular-candidate-more-dangerous-ncna925011 

What Bolsonaro's election victory means (Ben) https://mg.co.za/article/2018-10-28-what-bolsonaros-election-victory-could-mean 

Fascism has arrived in Brazil (Ben) https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/jair-bolsonaro-brazil-election-results-president-fascism-far-right-fernando-haddad-a8606391.html 

Privilege vs Democracy in Brazil (Alfredo Saad-Filho) https://jacobinmag.com/2018/10/brazil-election-bolsonaro-haddad-lula-pt-democracy 

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